[personalise the site]   [search the site]

Welcome to K's Web - home of the Kingstonian archives
The official club website can be found at


Hendon 2-0 Kingstonian

What a day. What a fine, fine day. First of all the joys of negotiating the North Circular and then the chance to watch a K's team play in a game with "three points" written all over it. Hendon (let us not forget) had lost their previous five matches, scoring but three goals and letting in thirteen. K's had of course had their own dodgy spell, but nothing quite as bad as that. This was a match which simply had to result in a win. Except somehow it all went wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.

If a Martian had landed and decided to watch Hendon v Kingstonian at the Loot Stadium (a likely story) then they would certainly have indicated (in their Martian way) that it was Hendon who had just been relegated from the higher echelons of the non-league game; that it was Hendon who almost made it into the fifth round of the FA Cup just a few months ago; that it was Hendon who had made several notable purchases during the close-season; and that it was Hendon who were amongst the pre-season favourites to win the league. Except it wasn't. And they weren't. The expectations lie with Kingstonian - and the failings are there for all to see.

The first-half was such a non-event that any watching Martian would surely have left long before goalkeeper David Hook had to exert himself just before the break, to collect a Mark Beard flicked header after Mark Jones had beaten two on the left. David Sadler almost connected, but Hook did enough to snuff out the best opportunity for either side in the first forty-five minutes.

K's could (and perhaps should) have been awarded a penalty just before that when Paul Towler and Simon Stewart competed for another Jones cross. Contact was certainly made between Towler's left hand and the ball, but referee Mr Alf Street waved away the protests.

The Loot Stadium

The half-time break allowed frustrated fans the chance to visit the fine (and well priced) Hendon tea-bar. The best thing about the visit north? Most certainly. Two sausages and chips for £1.50 - even the Martians were impressed.

And so to the second half. K's actually started well, with several corners won (and wasted - but that's not the point now is it?). But at the other end worrying signs were starting to (re-)appear. Phil Ruggles went close after picking up a (hopeless) Lance Key goalkick and then went closer still. A corner came in from the right, Key flapped as if he thought it was pre-season all over again and Ruggles headed in at the far post. But the linesman had raised his flag (presumably because he was feeling sorry for K's) and the goal was expunged.

Sadler went close at the other end, but he had to create the chance himself (this football lark is an individual game isn't it?) when he beat two players on the right, cut in and shot across goal.

The re-introduction of Phil Wingfield (who definitely has signed Ryman League forms now) provided the biggest cheer of the evening from the travelling few (or should that be "fewer"?) but even he couldn't inspire the team to lift themselves out of the doldrums.

Hendon were by now by far the better team on show. A long ball from the right was headed goalwards by Peter Barnsby, except it was Lance Key who had to save well being as the effort was at the wrong end. The ball dropped to Eugene Ofori who saw his shot well saved by Key as well.

But it wasn't long before the goal came. Micky Woolner sent a deep cross in from the right and (the unmarked) Ruggles headed home from ten yards. And it wasn't as if it was undeserved. K's were obviously still awaiting the perfect opportunity at the other end as they still hadn't produced a shot on target.

Where's the Martian?

Bashiru Alimi almost had such a shot when he connected with a Wingfield header on the edge of the box, but Paul Yates blocked the effort before it had gone more than a yard. Still, if we're desperate (and believe it, we are) the shot was aimed at the goal so maybe it should count as a shot on target after all. Hurrah!

The white flag of surrender went up not long afterwards when Ronnie Green was sent on in place of Sadler. K's therefore played out the remaining fifteen minutes with just (the gigantic) Greg Ball up front, with Ronnie Green playing on the end of his short rope which was attached to the right touchline. Even the expected Peter "centre-forward" Barnsby didn't make an appearance.

And not surprisingly one became two before the game was (finally) over. The second goal could have come a couple of times just before. Ofori saw his shot blocked by Alimi and Davis Hayle produced a fantastic save from Key. Yet in the end it was Dale Binns who put everyone out of their misery. K's (generously) allowed the ball to cross the edge of their area several times, before Binns shot home with a well taken goal from the edge of the area.

The game ended just afterwards, and once again the management team and players skulked off with heads held low - Lance Key being the only one man enough to even acknowledge those who had braved the Autumnal night to watch. For those who weren't there - thank the Lord. For those who were - what were you thinking?

Certain things now need to happen. Research into the lower reaches of the Ryman League needs to be undertaken, the criteria for entering the FA Vase must be studied, and - above all - we must push for "two-up" - not to the Conference, but to the Ryman Premier. K's are on a slippery slope, and at the moment there appears to be nobody with any idea of how to straighten it.

Tue 25th Sep 2001
Claremont Road
Isthmian League Premier
1Lance Key
2Max Hustwick
3Colin Luckett
4Peter Barnsby
5Simon Stewart
6Bashiru Alimi
7Liam Collins12
8Mark Beard
9Greg Ball
10David Sadler15
11Mark Jones14
12Billy Mead7
14Phil Wingfield11
15Ronnie Green10
Man of the Match
Phil Wingfield
Phil Wingfield
Match Report By
Gary Ekins